The first anti-aging pills to hit the shelves in 2028, predicts an expert

Pills that could help a person reverse the effects of aging could be on the market within the next five years, according to an expert.

Sam Altman, 37, was revealed to have funded biotech startup Retro BioScience to the tune of $180 million last month. He is the latest in a long line of Silicon Valley billionaires to throw their considerable wealth behind the science of aging.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has reportedly invested $3 billion in life-extending startup Altos Labs. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel invested in the Methuselah Foundation, which aims to make ’90 the new 50′.

With all these resources being devoted to curing aging, Andrew Steele, the author of the 2020 book ̵[ads1]6;Ageless: The new science of getting older without getting old’, believes that anti-aging pills could be on pharmacy shelves within five years.

He points to existing drugs – such as the diabetes tablet metformin – which could be repurposed as anti-ageing treatments in the “very, very near term”.

The first anti-aging pills to hit the shelves in 2028, predicts an expert

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos funded Atlos Labs and the life extension research for $3 billion

Sam Altman (left), founder of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, has invested in a life-extending biotechnology. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (right) funded Atlos Labs and life extension research for $3 billion

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel invested in the Methuselah Foundation, hoping to outlast the average person's lifespan

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel invested in the Methuselah Foundation, hoping to outlast the average person’s lifespan

Steele said: “With these billionaires, I’m sure some of them are doing it purely for personal gain – they have all this money and they can’t possibly spend it in a lifetime.

“But … if you are an experienced investor, you can see that anti-aging medicine is a great business opportunity because the potential market is all living people.

“I think it’s going to be the biggest revolution in medicine since the discovery of antibiotics — and as a savvy businessman, you want to be at the forefront of that revolution.”

Although aging does not directly kill people, older people are prone to many fatal diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer.

Around 100,000 people die from age-related diseases every day, according to the World Health Organization.

Mr Steele says: “Aging is the greatest humanitarian challenge of all time.

There are “20 to 30” companies developing new drugs known as “senolytics” that kill aging cells in the body, he explained.

In mice, these substances cause older animals to suddenly become lively and healthy.

“Many of these drugs are drugs that we already understand and use for different purposes, so we don’t need to develop new drugs,” Steele said.

An example of a senolytic treatment is the combination of datasinib, used for chemotherapy, and quercetin, a molecule found in fruits and vegetables.

When used together, they remove old “aging” cells that are responsible for many of the problems associated with aging.

Another potential general antiaging drug is metformin. The drug was first approved in 1994 for type 2 diabetes, and has shown promise in extending life by improving blood vessel health.

“Some of these companies are trying to develop new and more effective drugs that can do the same thing better,” the author said.

“It’s the kind of thing that is very, very close to clinical realization. And I would be shocked if in five years we don’t have any senolytics in the clinic.

“It probably won’t be for aging at first. It will be for a specific disease – and maybe in 10 years we will use it for aging.

“These things are very, very close.”

Jeff Bezos’ investment in Altos Labs – the biggest biotech company launch of all time – is a long shot, Steele believes.

Dr Andrew Steele is the author of Ageless, a new book on life extension (Tran Nguyen)

Dr Andrew Steele is the author of Ageless, a new book on life extension (Tran Nguyen)

The firm specializes in finding and developing cell therapies that can stop and eventually reverse the aging process.

Mr Steele says: “This relies on a process called cellular reprogramming. It’s been shown to work on cells in a dish, and there’s some evidence that it works in mice — but it’s incredibly complicated science.

“It’s like science that seems to have fallen through a wormhole from the future — and even if it works, do we have the biological applied understanding in the 2020s to make it a workable treatment?”

When Altos Labs was announced, Elon Musk joked on Twitter about the Amazon mogul: “If it doesn’t work, he’s going to sue to the death!”

With laboratories being launched in America and Cambridge, the company is known to pay researchers drawn from the world’s best universities salaries of up to a million dollars a year.

Steele says that realistically, treatments we are likely to see in the short term will widen the “health span” by managing age-related diseases – delaying the onset of problems such as dementia.

Dr. Cathy Slack, a biologist from the University of Aston, in the UK, agrees, telling “The aim is to increase the number of years of healthy life rather than prolong the late life of ill health.”

She said there are now “many” published studies showing that genetic or environmental changes can extend a healthy lifespan.

She says: ‘Many of the biological systems that have been shown to play a role in healthy aging in these animal models are also present in humans and perform similar functions – so there is every reason to believe that the same processes affect human ageing. .

“The ultimate goal is really to try to manipulate these systems during human aging to maintain health and quality of life.”

Dr Slack believes that successful treatments are likely to be a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes – looking holistically at all the diseases that affect people later in life.

She says: “Historically, we have seen the various diseases associated with old age as distinct entities – so research tends to focus on each one rather than looking at them more holistically together as a direct consequence of biological ageing.

“We already know that there are lifestyle changes that will help maintain several aspects of health during aging.

“Exercise, for example. But supplementation with drugs that target multiple physiological parameters of aging can have a huge impact on the quality of life of older adults.’

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